The Grice Club


The Grice Club

The club for all those whose members have no (other) club.

Is Grice the greatest philosopher that ever lived?

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Slip On Deck Shoes

From today's World Wide Words, ed. M. Quinion:

What power a hyphen has. Roger Beale wrote, "A friend of mine has
just bought a pair of summer shoes from Marks and Spencer that
carry a label reading 'Slip On Deck Shoes'."

Please be aware of falling branches

From today's World Wide Words, ed. M. Quinion:

My wife and I stayed at a country hotel in Scotland last weekend.
Strolling in the grounds, we repeatedly came across signs nailed to
trees: "Please be aware of falling branches". This curiously worded
caution aroused the logician in me. One could hardly be utterly
unaware of a falling branch, even if only for a microscopic moment
before it knocked your brains out.


hitting mom with autistic sons

From today's World Wide Words, ed. M. Quinion.

Spot the unwanted implicature:

Two widely reproduced online reports of 22 July about an incident
in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, had equally strangely constructed
headlines: "McDonald's boss punches mom with service dog" (spotted
by Ernie Scheuer and Gordon Schochet); and "McDonald's manager
accused of hitting mom with autistic sons" (found by Robert Wake).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


by JL Speranza
for the GC +1'd this publicly.

"Some pre-Gricean ideas can be traced back at least to the first century B.C. rhetorician Dionysius."


for the GC

Essays in Philosophy +1'd this

"(propositional) content" indicators, and even gave a pre-Griceian analysis of assertoric force (see Dummett, 1973/ l98l). Frege is like Grice.


By JL Speranza
for the GC

A Just Medium: Empathy and Detachment in Historical Understanding ... -

... in a philological sense' without 'understanding the passage as a historian of philosophy' Collingwood is effectively making a pre-Griceian point.


By Luigi Speranza

PDF] M I +1'd this publicly. Undo
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
by C Barker - 1992 - Cited by 1 - Related articles
the emphasis is mine but the proto-Gricean terminology is in the original. In common conversation the affirmation of a part is meant to IMPLY ...


By JL Speranza
for the GC

Some proto-Gricean ideas can be traced back
to the 4th century rhetoricians Servius and
Donatus, LATER TO BE REITERATED by 19th century philosopher J. S. Mill.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Spots and measles

by JLS
for the GC

Apres "All meaning is natural"

Smoke and fire

by JLS
for the GC

Apres "All meaning is natural"

Grice and Darwin justifies the science of historical linguistics

by JLS
for the GC

Apres, "All meaning is natural"

Grice's and Locke's misgivings

by JLS
for the GC

Apres, "All meaning is natural".

Grice: between Augustine's intentions and Ockham's perceptions

for the GC

Apres, All meaning is natural.

Grice's trypthic: pragmata/pathemata/phone

by JLS
for the GC

Apres, "All meaning is natural: Aristotle's tryptich".

Grice's mimetic beginnings

by JLS
for the GC

apres, "All meaning is natural" -- Socrates's mimetic beginnings.

Meaning-naturalism: pre-Gricean

by J. L. Speranza
for the Grice Club.

In "All meaning is natural", K. Thornburg objects to the early Grice's simplifications with meanN and meanNN.

It is the received philosophical view that there are two fundamentally different types of meanings: natural ones and non-natural ones.

Linguistic meanings are said to be of the second sort.

Properly understood however, language is a physical, biological phenomenon.

Indeed, it is an evolved species.

In evolutionary biology, the physical significance of items is explained by reference to the physical significance of ancestral items and to features of the biological relationship of engendering.

When language is investigated along similar lines, the natural/non-natural distinction ceases to appear fundamental.

More fundamental is the distinction between phenomena capable of explanation within a relatively lower order physical theory and those that require an explanatory theory of relatively higher-order.

From this perspective, talk of convention or non-naturalness in linguistics resembles that ofjunction in biology.

It serves only as a conversational shorthand for higher-order explanations.

The spoils Grice augurs

by JLS
for the GC

Section in PhD dissertation, "All meaning is natural".

The Griceian Enigma

by JLS
for the GC

Section on PhD dissertation, "All meaning is natural".


1. introduction 1
noel burton-roberts

2. on a pragmatic explanation of negative polarity licensing 10
jay david atlas

3. regressions in pragmatics (and semantics) 24
kent bach

4. constraints, concepts and procedural encoding 45
diane blakemore

5. optimality theoretic pragmatics and the
explicature/implicature distinction 67
reinhard blutner

6. varieties of semantics and encoding:
negation, narrowing/loosening and numericals 90
noel burton-roberts

7. relevance theory and shared content 115
herman cappelen and ernie lepore

8. concepts and word meaning in relevance theory 136
marjolein groefsema

9. neo-gricean pragmatics: a manichaean manifesto 158
laurence r. horn

10. the why and how of experimental pragmatics:
the case of ‘scalar inferences’ 184
ira noveck and dan sperber

11. indexicality, context and pretence:
a speech-act theoretic account 213
françois recanati

12. a unitary approach to lexical pragmatics:
relevance, inference and ad hoc concepts 230
deirdre wilson and robyn carston

The theoretical field of enquiry now called ‘pragmatics’ was effectively
launched, from within philosophy, by Staffordshire-born author, Herbert Paul Grice.

His work (brought together in Grice 1989) remains an enduring presence in the field even now when pragmatics is seen primarily as an adjunct to linguistics and
psychology, and in the context of reservations as to the viability of
Grice’s precise conception of pragmatics and the semantics/pragmatics

The chapters that make up this contribution to Palgrave’s Advances
series address a wide range of issues that have arisen in post-Gricean
pragmatic theory and present a range of theoretical positions and

The field is currently characterized by lively debate and
this is fully reflected here.

The volume includes considerations of
relevance theory (Sperber and Wilson 1986/1995 and related work),

neo-Gricean pragmatics,

optimality theoretic pragmatics, experimental
work and philosophical considerations.

The specific topics covered
include scalar implicature, lexical semantics and pragmatics, concepts
and concept-adjustment, indexicality, speech acts, procedural meaning
and the notion of ‘constraint’, the explicature-implicature distinction,
numerical expressions, the semantics and pragmatics of negation and
negative polarity items, and whether successful communication involves
‘shared content’.

Rather than attempt to group these chapters by theme – impractical
given that each chapter connects up with others in so many different
ways – I introduce them in alphabetical order of the first author, the
order in which they appear.

Jay Atlas’ chapter

(‘On a Pragmatic Explanation of Negative Polarity Licensing’)

is a contribution to the discussion of the long-standing and
intriguing problems posed by the expressions only, even, almost and not

What is communicated by utterances of sentences in which these
occur clearly includes a negative proposition. But it is not clear just what
the status of the negative proposition is in the total signification of the
sentence uttered. Atlas approaches the problems through an exploration
of the licensing of Negative Polarity Items (NPIs) in such sentences and
reconsiders a pragmatic proposal of Horn. Horn (2002) proposed to
treat assertion (and non-assertion, or ‘presupposition’) as speech acts
pragmatically independent of semantic entailment. Although NPIs would
be licensed by the semantics facts, Horn proposed that they are in fact only
licensed by falling within the scope of the (independent) pragmatic act of
assertion. Atlas explores and critiques this pragmatic proposal, advancing
new data and asking why the occurrence of NPIs should depend on the
pragmatics of assertion and how we are to characterize assertion, nonassertion
and entailment in the representation of utterance meanings.

Kent Bach’s chapter, ‘Regressions in Pragmatics (and Semantics)’,
is in part a defence of Griceian principles, but with the refinement of
impliciture (see, for example, Bach 1994).

The paper defends the idea
that semantics and pragmatics are strictly separate though interacting in

Semantics concerns sentences. It captures what speakers
actually say (in the locutionary sense of ‘say’, rather than the illocutionary
sense of ‘state’ or ‘assert’).

It determines what is fully explicit in utterances.

Pragmatics concerns what is communicated by the utterance of sentences,
the performance of speech acts. Fully implicit communication – what
is not said but conveyed by the saying of what is said (i.e. implicature)
– falls within pragmatics. Bach’s idea of impliciture is offered as a way
of maintaining this picture while qualifying it. Crucially, saying versus
implicating is not exhaustive. Impliciture takes up the slack, accounting
for aspects of what is communicated that are neither said nor implicated
but required by the fact that sentences may need completing (if utterances
of them are to express propositions) and expanding (if utterances of them
are to express the intended proposition). Impliciture is implied by what is
said (i.e. it is implicit in what is said) – in contrast to implicature, which
is implied only by the saying of what is said (and is not implicit in what
is said). Against this background, Bach identifies nine ‘suspect ideas’ in
current pragmatic theory. He calls them ‘regressions’ because, he argues,
they hark back to pre-Gricean ‘ordinary language’ philosophy influenced
by Wittgenstein’s injunction: ‘Don’t look for the meaning, look for the
use’. He argues that this mistakenly imports into semantics what pertains
to pragmatics. The nine suspect ideas that he identifies commit, in
different ways, the error of conflating pragmatics and semantics.
introduction 3

In ‘Constraints, Concepts and Procedural Encoding’, New-Zealand-born author Diane Blakemore
offers an intricate investigation of procedural meaning, its relation to
conceptual meaning and to the notion of ‘constraint on relevance’. She
approaches the issues through a discussion of a range of parentheticals.
The parentheticals that concern her – as- and and- parentheticals
– achieve relevance by providing information about how their hosts are
to be interpreted (and they can do this in a variety of different ways).
In that respect, they might be described as providing constraints on
the relevance/interpretation of another expression, the host. The effect
of using one of these expressions, then, might seem to be the same
as that of using an expression that encodes a procedure. However, she
shows that their encoded meaning is clearly conceptual. She argues
that, unlike purely procedural elements, the (conceptual) content of
the parenthetical does not drop out of the picture once it has served its
purpose of constraining the process of interpreting the host. It contributes
to the overall conceptual representation and (again unlike procedural
elements) is itself subject to all inferential operations – e.g. strengthening
– that conceptual representations are subject to. Thus we need to make
a distinction between constraints on interpretation/relevance and
procedural meaning. In the light of this, she argues that we need to
recognize two notions – and loci – of constraints on interpretation:
(a) constraints that are encoded as such – this constitutes procedural
meaning, arising at the level of linguistically encoded meaning, and (b)
constraints that arise at the level of conceptual representation, through
the interpretation of the relation between the conceptual content of the
parenthetical and that of the host.

German-born author Reinhard Blutner, in ‘Optimality Theoretic Pragmatics and the
Explicature/Implicature Distinction’ offers a wide-ranging discussion
that centres on relevance theory’s explicature/implicature distinction.
It begins by noting problems with how that distinction is defined
within relevance theory. Blutner speculates that the distinction might
be independently derivable within the framework of optimality theoretic
(OT) pragmatics (see Blutner and Zeevat 2004) based on neo-Gricean
principles and ‘global’ considerations governing rational communication.
The OT framework invites the development of a ‘diachronic’ perspective.
Blutner suggests the manipulation of the different rankings of a given
OT system of constraints is a powerful but computationally simple
task. This perspective encourages us to see certain on-line (synchronic)
inferential processes as having become fossilized and thus automatized.
This makes for highly efficient, speedy, on-line processing, consistent
with the experimental results reported in the work of Noveck (see also
the chapter in this volume by Noveck and Sperber). The automatization
and speed of processing of such processes, Blutner suggests, is consistent
with relevance theory’s treatment of them as explicatures, rather than
with regarding them as the processing (the calculation and potential
cancellation) of implicatures.

Newcastle-born Burton-Robert's contribution, ‘Varieties of Semantics and
Encoding: Negation, Narrowing/Loosening and Numericals’,
relevance theory’s distinction between ‘linguistic semantics’ (the encoded
semantics of linguistic expressions) and ‘real semantics’ (the propositional
– truth-theoretic – semantics of thoughts).

Burton-Roberts suggest that, on several
grounds, ‘linguistic semantics’ is problematic and argue for a single (‘real’)
notion of semantics, located in the Language of Thought. This implies
– with Fodor (1998) and the strongest of Recanati’s (2004) contextualist
positions – that particular languages like English have no semantics.
Distinguishing between ‘having meaning’ and ‘having semantics’, Burton-Roberts allows
that – like all signs – utterances in English do ‘have meaning’, but argue
that this is so only in virtue of their being intended and recognized
as standing in a relation of conventional representation to syntacticosemantically
constituted thoughts.

As representational of conceptual
properties, utterable words are not themselves possessed of any conceptual
property (either specific or schematic – Carston 2002).

In this connection,
I compare ‘representation’ with relevance theory’s notion of ‘encoding’.
The implications of these ideas are explored with reference to negation
(where a sharp distinction is drawn between the utterable English word
not and the logical operator), ‘narrowing’ and ‘loosening’ (i.e. ‘concept
adjustment’) and the problems posed by numerical expressions. A representational
perspective, I argue, allows us to acknowledge that the
differing concepts represented by uses of the word three all include the
concept EXACTLY THREE while denying that the word itself has a semantic
definition (including, and especially, ‘exactly three’).

The chapter by Dutch-born author Herman Cappelen and American-born Ernie Lepore (‘Relevance Theory and Shared Content’) is a critique of relevance theorists’ claim that
grasping what the speaker intends to communicate by the utterance of
a sentence does not involve or require duplicating the speaker’s thought.
The relevance-theoretic (RT) claim is that successful communication
involves entertaining a thought sufficiently similar to the speaker’s
thought. Cappelen and Lepore dub this the No Shared Content (NSC)
principle: an audience will never grasp p (the intended proposition) but
only another proposition q. They claim that RT is committed to the NSC
principle because the only ‘similarity’ relation implied by RT is that two
propositions are similar if they are developments of the same logical
form and this is too unconstrained to guarantee anything approaching
shared content: two propositions can be developments of the same logical
form and yet be utterly different. Furthermore, the NSC is implied if the
cognitive effects of a particular utterance on an interpreter depend on
that interpreter’s assumptions, since such assumptions vary from person
to person. In short, there is no ‘fixed standard of similarity that RT can
appeal to’. Cappelen and Lepore argue that, being committed to the
NSC principle, relevance theory fails to account for our general practice
of reporting what others say, and assessing the truth of what they say.
It also fails to account for coordinated planned action. They write: ‘A
central challenge in pragmatics is to develop a theory of communication
that reconciles two fundamental facts: we can share contents across
contexts and communicated content is deeply context sensitive.’ The
authors conclude with a useful summary of their proposed response to
this challenge, ‘Pluralistic Minimalism’ (Cappelen and Lepore 2004).

Frisian author Marjolein Groefsema’s contribution (‘Concepts and Word Meaning
in Relevance Theory’) is a detailed consideration of relevance theory’s
treatment of word meaning, concepts and their content. She focuses
particularly on the proposal that concepts are triples, having three
kinds of ‘entry’: logical, lexical and encyclopaedic. She argues that this
treatment is open to several interpretations. She rejects the idea that
the content of concepts might include lexical information, since this
would make phonological and syntactic information about words part
of the content of the concepts that are supposed to be the meaning of
those words. She then considers three further accounts: (1) that the
content of concepts is constituted by their logical and encyclopaedic
entries, (2) that concepts are unanalyzable atomic entities whose entries
do not constitute their content, and (3) that their logical entries, but not
their encyclopaedic entries, constitutes their content. Finally, Groefsema
considers Carston’s (2002) recent proposal to distinguish between
encoded concepts and ‘ad hoc’ concepts derived from encoded concepts
by ‘concept adjustment’. She investigates each of these accounts in turn
and argues that they make different predictions about what proposition
is expressed by an utterance (the explicature) and what is implicitly
communicated (implicature). Ultimately, as with several other chapters
in this volume, it is the explicature-implicature distinction that is at issue
in this chapter. Groefsema argues that, since relevance is defined in terms
of the cognitive effects derived from the interaction of the proposition
expressed/explicature with assumptions in the context, it is crucial that
we know how to make the explicature-implicature distinction in principle
and in practice.

As American linguist Laurence Horn’s subtitle indicates, his chapter,

‘Neo-Gricean Pragmatics: A Manichaean Manifesto’,

is indeed a wide-ranging manifesto
for his neo-Gricean pragmatic stance (for example, Horn 1984, 1989),
setting it in its historical context and within a range of philosophical,
rhetorical, and cultural contexts.

It is ‘Manichaean’ in the sense of being grounded in the idea of two opposing but co-dependent, interacting principles (Good-Evil for Manichaeans, Yin-Yang for Confucians).

In the
pragmatic context, the co-dependent oppositions include speaker-hearer,
economy-sufficiency, brevity-clarity, minimizing-maximizing, effort-effect
(the last also found in relevance theory).

Horn’s neo-Gricean enterprise
‘folds’ the several maxims proposed by Grice into exactly two such
principles, the R Principle (‘Don’t say too much’) and the Q Principle (‘Say

The R Principle is speaker-orientated (minimizing effort) and is
‘upper-bounding’ in its effect, giving rise to strengthening implicatures.

The Q Principle is hearer-orientated (guaranteeing sufficiency) and is
‘lower bounding’, giving rise to typically scalar implicatures (which, Horn
argues, are distinct from strengthening implicatures).

Horn illustrates the
pervasive influence of the principles – and their explanatory character in
offering a ‘division of pragmatic labour’ – across a wide range of linguistic
phenomena: lexical, semantic and logical, not only synchronically but
also diachronically, in semantic and lexical change.

Horn defends this
‘dualist’ (‘Manichaean’) picture against the three principles of Levinson
(2000) – Q, I (equivalent to Horn’s R) and M (for Manner) – and against
the ‘monist’ position of relevance theory, which is grounded in a single
Principle of Relevance.

He questions whether relevance theory is in fact
‘monist’ since, as noted, it too stresses the effort-effect opposition.

In ‘The Why and How of Experimental Pragmatics: The Case of
“Scalar Inferences”’, French authors Ira Noveck and Dan Sperber present the case for
an experimental methodology (see Noveck and Sperber 2004). This,
they argue, is especially necessary in pragmatics, where the exclusive
reliance on intuition is particularly problematic. They point up some
interesting contrasts between semantic and pragmatic intuitions in this
connection. In particular they advocate an experimental approach in
choosing between alternative theories that may agree on the content of
the interpretations of utterances, but have different implications for the
cognitive mechanisms that derive these interpretations. A case in point is
what is generally referred to as ‘scalar inference’ (e.g. the inference from
some to not all and from possible to not necessary/certain) – and it is this
that provides the focus of their chapter. While the treatment of scalar
inference in terms of Grice’s Generalized Conversational Implicature
(GCI) is intuitive enough, they suggest the implications of that treatment
for processing are not attractive. Here they focus on Levinson’s (2000)
approach, in which the rationale for GCIs lies in the optimization of
processing – the relevant inferences are automatic, speedy, one-step,
default inferences. Noveck and Sperber doubt this claim about processing,
doubt that the relevant inference is scalar and doubt that it results in an
implicature. As regards processing, the speed of the inference has to be set
against the potential processing cost of cancelling the implicature. They
argue for an alternative account in terms of relevance theory. Ultimately,
they suggest, the choice between these competing approaches needs
to be – and can be – tested experimentally, by timing actual on-line
comprehension processing (as Levinson himself has suggested). Noveck
and Sperber present the results of their experiments, and compare them
with results from similar experiments. They argue that these results
strongly favour their own RT account over Levinson’s GCI account. They
suggest that, while this does not exactly falsify Levinson’s account, it
does present that account with a serious challenge.

French author François Recanati, in ‘Indexicality, Context and Pretence: A Speech Act
Theoretic Account’, is concerned with context and context shift. He argues
that, in the normal way of things, ‘context’ refers the objective context
of utterance, and context shift is impossible. The reference of genuine
indexicals – expressions whose dependence on context is determined by
semantic rule, e.g. I, here, now – cannot be shifted by speakers’ intentions.
In this they contrast with context-dependent expressions such as you,
we, John’s car, and demonstratives, whose reference can be shifted at will.
However, this difference between genuine indexicals and other contextand
intention-dependent expressions has to be qualified in the light of
pretence. This is the focus of his chapter. Pretence allows for context shift
even with indexicals. Here Recanati distinguishes two types of contextshifting
pretence. The first occurs in direct speech reports, delayed
communication, the historical present, and, in parallel, ‘presentifying’
uses of here. The second type of context-shifting pretence occurs in
various sorts of displayed assertion: non-quotational echoes, irony and
free indirect speech. Recanati suggests that the distinction between
these two types correlates with the distinction between locutionary and
illocutionary acts. In the light of this, he suggests speech act theory
must allow for a correlative distinction between locutionary contexts and
illocutionary contexts, a distinction between the context of utterance and
the context of assertion. As a consequence, context cannot be regarded
as an objective given, but as constructed intentionally as an aspect of
utterance meaning.

Finally, Deirdre Susan Moir Wilson and New-Zealand-born author Robyn Carston’s chapter (‘A Unitary Approach to Lexical Pragmatics: Relevance, Inference and Ad Hoc
Concepts’) reports on their recent work in the domain of lexical semantics
and pragmatics.

They explore how the concepts encoded as wordmeanings
are adjusted in the context of utterance. The disparity between
lexically encoded meaning and what is generally communicated by the
use of words, they argue, is generally accounted for by positing a range
of different mechanisms. They accept that concept adjustment appears
to take different forms, including narrowing (strengthening), loosening
(broadening) and metaphorical extension. However, with extensive
illustration, Wilson and Carston argue, against a variety of previous
accounts which treat these three phenomena as distinct, that there are
no well-defined distinctions among these intuitive types of adjustment.
Accordingly, their concern is to develop a more constrained, unified
account in which a single inferential process, guided by the expectation of
(optimal) relevance, is involved in all three – a single process that derives
an ad hoc concept. Narrowing, loosening (including approximation,
hyperbole, and category extension) and metaphor are simply different
outcomes of this single process. They compare their unified inferential
account with that of Recanati, which they argue is only partly inferential,
and with what they see as the non-inferential account of Lakoff (e.g 1987,
1994). They conclude by asking whether their account can be extended to
cover a range of further figurative phenomena: metonymy, synecdoche,
blends, puns and meaning transfers.


Bach, K.
Conversational impliciture’. Mind and Language 9: 124–62.

Blutner, R. and H. Zeevat (eds).
Optimality Theory and Pragmatics. Basingstoke:
Palgrave Macmillan.

Cappelen, H. and E. Lepore
Insensitive Semantics. Oxford: Blackwell.

Carston, R. Thoughts and Utterances: The Pragmatics of Explicit Communication.
Oxford: Blackwell. -- a rewrite of her PhD dissertation, UCL.

Fodor, J. (1998). Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong. New York: Oxford
University Press.

Grice, H.P. (1938). Negation and privation. The Grice Papers.
--- (1941). Personal identity.
--- (1964). Logic and conversation. Oxford -- for the first use of 'implicature'.
--- (1967). Logic and conversation, Harvard.
--- (1989). Studies in the Way of Words. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard
University Press.
--- (1991). The conception of value
--- (2001). Aspects of reason
--- (in press). The Grice Papers. Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Horn, L.R. (1984). ‘Toward a new taxonomy for pragmatic inference: Q-based and
R-based implicature’. In D. Schiffrin (ed.). Meaning, Form, and Use in Context
(GURT 1984). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. 11–42.

— (1989). A Natural History of Negation. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press
(Reissued: Stanford, CA: CSLI, 2001).

— (2002). ‘Assertoric Inertia and NPI Licensing’. CLS 38 Part 2. Chicago, IL:
Chicago Linguistics Society. 55–82.

----. 'A brief history of negation.'

Lakoff, G. (1987). Women, Fire and Dangerous Things. Chicago, IL: University of
Chicago Press.

— (1994). Conceptual metaphor home page. Available at edu/lakoff/MetaphorHome.html>

Levinson, S. (2000). Presumptive Meanings: The Theory of Generalized Conversational
Implicature. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Noveck, I. and D. Sperber (eds). (2004). Experimental Pragmatics. Basingstoke:

Recanati, F. (2004). Literal Meaning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sperber, D. and D. Wilson (1986). (2nd edition 1995). Relevance: Communication
and Cognition. Oxford: Blackwell.


abbreviation, 160, 165, 174
abduction, 84
acquisition, 105, 110
address, 136, 137, 138
ad hoc concept, see concept
adjustment, see concept
adverbials, 46, 47, 53, 214
almost, 10, 11, 87
ambiguity, 25, 40, 41, 59, 99, 100, 111
Amis, K., 168
analytical/synthetic distinction, 106,
142–3, 155
Anderson, S., 175
Anscombre, J.-C. and O. Ducrot, 169
antonyms, 233
apparently, 47, 51, 59
approximately, 103, 112
approximation, 8, 231, 234, 239, 256
arbitrariness, 93
Argument from Design, 102
Aronoff, M., 170, 175
Asch, S. 255
asides, 47
asserted content, 120
assertion, 2, 38
displayed, 224, 226, 227
downward, 11, 13, 18
assertoric inertia, 11–22
association, 244, 252
Atlas, J.D., 1, 2, 10–22, 99–100, 103,
and S. Levinson, 17, 178
Austin, J.L., 24, 25, 38, 213, 216, 226,
Availability Principle, 152–3, 155
Bach, K. 2, 26, 29, 42, 43, 63
and R.M. Harnish, 28
bald, 101
Barsalou, L.W., 143, 230, 233, 254,
Barwise, J. and J. Perry, 219
Beaver, D. and H. Lee, 78
belief attributions, 120
Benz, A., 78
Bezuidenhout, A., 116, 117, 131
and J.C. Cutting, 208
Bickerton, D., 111
Blakemore, D., 3, 50, 56, 58, 63–5
Blass, R., 45, 50, 61–3, 65
blends, 164, 253, 255
blocking, 75–8, 81, 169, 175
Bloom, P., 177
Bloomfi eld, L., 176
Blutner, R. 3, 4, 69, 74, 77, 78, 80, 87,
254, 255
and R. Sommer, 87
and H. Zeevat, 3, 69, 73, 78
Bolinger, D., 176
Bontly, T., 177
Borges, J. L. , 174
Bosanquet, B., 166
Bott, L. and I.A. Noveck, 204–5, 207,
Bower, B., 177
Bowerman, M. and S. Choi, 102
bounding (upper, lower), 103, 162–4,
169, 208–9
Braine, M. and B. Rumain, 201
Bréal, M., 175
Breheny, R., 208–9
brevity, 162
broadening, 8, 230, 246
see also loosening; narrowing vs.
Brown, P. and S. Levinson, 166
index 261
Burton-Roberts, N., 4, 70–2, 91, 100,
106, 108, 111, 149, 155, 156
and G. Poole, 93, 97
Bybee, J. and P. Hopper, 161
calculation, 39, 151, 154
Camp, E., 255
cancellation, 7, 72–3, 87, 149, 154, 188
Cappelen, H. and E. Lepore, 4, 5, 41,
42, 43, 91, 118, 133–5
Carroll, J. and M. Tanenhaus, 160
Carston, R., 4, 5, 41, 43, 47, 54, 56,
58, 64, 67, 70–2, 81, 91, 97–100,
101–5, 106, 109, 110, 112, 115,
117, 128–32, 142, 144–8, 149,
151, 153, 155, 168–9, 173, 177,
179, 239, 241–3, 251, 254, 255,
category extension, 8, 236–7
Casenhiser, D., 177
causative, 76
character, 42
Chierchia, G. 69, 79, 82, 169, 201
children, 176–7, 202–3, 210
vs. adults, 85–6, 197, 198–9, 203
Chng, S., 111
Chomsky, N., 92, 94–6, 98, 111, 185
clarifi cation, 72
Clark, B., 65
Clark, E., 177
and H. Clark, 175, 237
Clark, H., 228, 238
and R. Gerrig, 222, 224, 228, 237
clipping, 164
coding, 67
cognitive effects, 138
cognitive linguistics, 243, 253–4
Cole, P., 70
communicative intention, 26–8
competence vs. performance, 39, 40
completion, 30, 38
concepts, 3, 5, 47, 91, 136–57
absolute vs. gradient, 101
ad hoc, 5, 8, 56, 145, 146–8, 155,
adjustment, 4, 5, 8, 108–9, 145,
238, 239–52
atomic, 139, 141,146, 147, 148, 255
encoded, 5, 8, 231, 239, 246, 252
lexical, 101, 104, 109, 145,155
see also pro-concept
concept schema, 104–5, 112, 148
conceptual addresses, 143
conceptual-intentional structure, 90,
95, 110
conceptual-procedural distinction, 63,
conditional perfection, 173
conditionals, 173, 240
conceptual, 46
procedural, 46
on implicit content, 45
violable, 74
assessment of, 120–1
of a concept, 139, 144, 148
truth-conditional, 35, 231, 239,
241–2, 254
‘context’, 213–28
locutionary vs. illocutionary, 226–7
context-sensitive expression vs.
indexical, 214
context shift, 7, 213–28
contextual effects, 128–30, 142, 147
Contextualism, 25, 35, 42, 92, 254
radical, 118
convention, 98, 111
Cooperative Principle, 177–8, 179
Cormack, A and N. Smith, 93
creolization, 174
cross-linguistic variation, 97
default, 18, 97, 187–8, 208, 209, 239
Dawkins, R., 85
decoding, 91
delayed communication, 222, 227
demonstratives, 42, 215, 218, 225
denotation, 106
Derbyshire, D., 65
development, 5, 67, 70, 72–3, 84, 108,
109, 117, 128–9, 130–1, 146–7,
149, 151
diachronic/synchronic distinction,
68, 78, 85
Diesendruck, G. and L. Markson, 177
direct speech report, 221–2, 227
disambiguation, 100, 241
262 pragmatics
displacement, 93
Division of Pragmatic Labour, 6, 76,
77, 79, 170–4, 178–9
Doherty, M., 177
domain mapping, 243
domain restrictions, 83
double interface, 93, 96, 98
Ducrot, O., 73, 172–3, 220–2, 226,
Dutch, 87
Dynamic Syntax, 111
echo, 7, 223–4, 227
economy, 160, 173–4, 175–6
effort, 129, 172–3, 179
elimination rules, 137, 142
Elsewhere Condition, 175
Embedded Implicature Hypothesis,
71–2, 81, 83–4
embedding test, 241
emergent property, 251–2
encoding, 4, 63, 98, 100
C- vs M-, 97–110
vs. what is encoded, 98
encyclopaedic information, 67, 70,
106, 147, 152, 235, 247, 249,
251, 255, 247, 256
enrichment, 151, 197
entailment, 2, 162
downward, 11, 15, 18, 80, 82, 169
upward, 82
entry (encyclopaedic, lexical, logical)
5, 106, 136–57, 142, 145–7, 148,
even, 14
expansion, 30
explicature, 47, 52, 58, 59, 61, 63,
68, 82, 84, 131, 132, 141, 146–8,
188, 190, 193, 241
higher level, 45, 48, 50–3, 58, 61,
62, 64
explicature/implicature distinction, 3,
5, 67–70, 72–3, 84, 108–10, 138,
139–40, 141, 147, 149, 239, 242
Fanselow, G., 78
Fauconnier, G. and M. Turner, 243
Feeney, A., 201
Fidelholtz, J., 161
fi gurative meaning, 231
fi gurative vs. literal, 230–54
fi ne-tuning, 231
Flemming, E., 161
Fodor, J., 4, 91–2, 95, 97, 111, 254
and Lepore, E., 106
fossilization, 68, 73, 79, 85, 87
frankly, 46, 47
Fraser, B., 65
free enrichment, 71, 83
free indirect speech, 7, 225, 227
free variables, 214
Frege, G., 118, 122
frequency, 160, 164, 173
Functional Independence Principle,
71, 108, 153–4
Gazdar, G., 69, 80, 81
genitive, 214
German, 76
Gibbs, R.W., 43
and M. Tendahl, 253
Giegerich, H., 175
Gilliéron, J., 176
global vs. local, 79–80, 82, 85, 86
Glucksberg, S., 230, 236, 255–6
and D. Manfredi and M. McGlone,
Goffman, E., 166
Greek, 59–60
Green, M., 71–72
Grice, Herbert Paul, 1, 17, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29,
41, 64, 67, 68, 70, 73, 82, 87,
111, 149, 151, 154, 159, 162,
177–8, 179, 185, 186–8, 215, 219,
221, 224, 230–1, 239, 254, 255
Griceian -- vide palaeo-Griceian, pre-Griceian, neo-Griceian.
Groefsema, M., 5, 106, 155
Gross, S., 255
Guasti, M.T., 184, 201–2, 207
Haiman, J., 174
Hall, A., 63
Hand, M., 64
Hawthorn, J., 128
Hayes, B., 161
hearsay, 45
Hendricks, P.
and H. de Hoop, 69, 74
and J. Spenader, 87
index 263
Hintzman, D., 105–6, 111
historical present, 223, 227
homonymy, 174–9
homophony, 176
Hoop, H. de and H. de Swart, 74
Horn, L., 2, 6, 10–22, 76–9, 81, 103,
162–4, 166, 167–8, 169–70,
171–3, 176–7, 187, 209, 255
Horn-scales, 80
Horsey, R., 255
hyperbole, 8, 231, 235
and approximation, 235–6
hyponymy, 165–6
illocutionary acts, 7, 38
illocutionary adverbials, 52
implicature, 2, 25, 30, 37, 38, 39, 47,
58, 68, 81, 141–2, 146, 151, 163,
168, 179, 190, 193, 231, 239–40
conventional, 14, 48, 64
conversational, 17, 26, 28, 29,
generalized, 6–7, 27, 42–3, 87,
particularized, 43, 73, 187, 189
embedded, 71–2, 79, 81, 83–4
scalar, 7, 71–3, 80–2,162, 169,
impliciture, 2, 29, 31, 38, 43
indexicals, 7, 25, 30, 33, 35, 41, 42,
hidden, 36, 41
Infantidou, E., 46, 48–53, 58–60, 62,
64, 65
informativeness, 187
intention, 35, 38, 41
referential, 42
intentionalism, 33–4, 42
interpretability at PF/LF, 93
intuition, 6, 35, 184–6
intuitionism, 38–9
I-principle, 74–5, 78
irony, 7, 29, 227
Isomorphism Principle, 43
Israel, M., 169
Itani, R., 65
Iten, C., 59
Jackendoff, R., 111, 140–1, 143
Jäger, G., 77–8
Japanese, 61, 76
Kaplan, D., 42, 216, 228
Karttunen, L. and S. Peters, 13–15,
18–22, 87
Kasher, A., 177
Kavalova, Y., 64
Kempson, R., 111
King, J. and J. Stanley, 29
Kintsch, W., 243, 254
Kiparsky, P., 170, 175
Kirby, S., 85
Kirschner, R., 161
Kuppevelt, J. van, 72–3
Ladusaw, W., 13
Lakoff, G., 8, 243, 253, 255, 257
Language of Thought, 4, 90–2, 97,
104, 106, 110, 111
vs. language faculty, 96
Lascarides, A. and A. Copestake, 254
Lasersohn, P., 234, 255
least effort, 115–16, 129, 131, 159–60,
174, 177
see also Zipf
Lehrer, A., 255
Levinson, S., 6, 7, 42–43, 76, 79, 80,
87, 169, 171, 178–9, 187–8, 194,
209, 241, 255
Levorato, M.C., 256
Lewis, D., 16, 98, 100, 215–18, 255
lexical change, 179
lexical gap, 175
lexicalization, 163
lexical item, 92–4
lexical pragmatics, 8, 85–6, 101, 170,
179, 230–57
Lindblom, B., 161
literal, 249
litotes, 167
Locke, J., 174
locutionary acts, 7, 38
Logan, G.D., 85
logical form, 63, 70, 91, 93, 117,
128–9, 130–1, 136, 146–8, 151
loosening, 4, 8, 100–2, 145
loose use, 145
Lyons, J., 228
264 pragmatics
McCawley, J., 13, 76, 80, 170–1, 173
Magritte, R., 94, 104
making as if to say, 224
Manichaeanism, 158–79
Manner (M), 6, 178
markedness, 75, 77–9, 87, 173, 178
Markman, E. and G.F. Wachtel, 175
Martinet, A., 160, 173–4
Matsumoto, Y., 173
Mattausch, J., 69, 76, 79
maxims, 67, 162, 177–8, 186–7, 239
Mazzocco, M., 177
meaning, 4, 95
conceptual vs. procedural, 58, 110
word, 136–57
vs. semantics, 4, 95, 110–12
see also use and meaning
Meaning Eliminativism, 92, 111
meaning transfer, 253
Menner, R., 176
Merin, A., 83–4
meronomic restrictions, 83,
metaphor, 8, 29, 145, 195, 231,
235–6, 238, 239, 246–8, 251–4,
and approximation, 248, 252–3
and hyperbole, 248, 252–3, 254
metaphorical extension, 239
metonymy, 29, 252–4, 257
mind-reading, 110
Minimalist Program, 92, 93, 97
Minimalism (Pluralistic), 132–5
Minimalist Principle, 155
minimal proposition, 29, 30, 33,
Minimax Principle, 160, 161, 179
Modifi ed Occam’s Razor, 177
moods, 240
Moore, G.E., 24
Moore’s paradox, 26
morphology, 176
Morse Code, 98
multiple trace memory model, 105
Murphy, G., 233
names, 236
narrowing, 4, 8, 100–2, 145, 193, 230
vs. loosening, 108, 230–57
see also strengthening
negation, 4, 15, 21, 96, 99–100, 166,
167, 240
metalinguistic, 31, 87
not vs. logical operator, 96, 99
not quite, 10, 11
scope-of-, 99, 241
negative polarity items, 2, 10–22,
neg-raising, 167
neologism, 237, 240, 253
neo-Wittgensteinian, 188
non-demonstrative inference, 116
No-Shared Content Principle, 4,
Noveck, I.A., 4, 85–7, 199–202
and A. Posada, 207
and D. Sperber, 4, 6, 7, 184
numerical expressions, 4, 39–40, 73,
102–4, 107–8
Nunberg, G., 214, 228, 252, 254, 257
only, 11, 13, 16, 18, 22
open, 101–2, 105
optimality theory, 3, 67–87
evolutionary, 85
optimization, 74, 77, 78
ordinary language philosophy, 24–6,
32, 185
ostensive stimulus, 109
Panther, K.U. and G. Radden, 257
Papafragou, A., 257
and Musolino, J., 184, 201–2
and Tantalou, N., 201, 210–1
parentheticals, 3, 46–65
and, 53–7
as, 54–7
Paris, S.G., 201
parsing, 97
Partee, B., 43
particular languages, 96, 97
Passy, P., 174
Paul, H., 159–60, 174–5
Peirce, C.S., 94, 96, 104
Pelczar, M., 111
Perry, J., 43
phonetic effort, 109
phonetic form, 93
phonetics, 106, 161
index 265
phonology, 74, 92, 95–7, 138, 161,
174, 175
Pilkington, A., 236
Pinker, S., 111
Pluralistic Minimalism, 5, 132–5
Pointer (to a concept), 104–5, 110, 148
polysemy, 103, 238, 241, 256
Popper, K., 17–18
Potts, C., 48–9, 63, 64
Pragmatic Intrusionism, 39–40
developmental, 198
experimental, 6, 69, 184–6,
neo-Gricean, 6, 69, 73–4, 80, 81,
84, 85, 103, 158–79, 186–7, 190,
194, 209–10
optimality theoretical, 3, 67–87
radical, 70, 111
rationality based, 177
relevance theoretical, 4–7, 67–69,
80, 90–2, 94, 97, 109, 115–32,
136–57, 178–9, 190–6, 205, 207,
209–10, 230–57
truth-conditional, 25, 34, 67, 231,
see also division of labour
precision (standards of), 215–19, 239
Predelli, S., 223
presumptive meaning, 43
presupposition 2, 13–16, 19, 22
pretence, 7, 220–8
principle of effective means, 178
procedural meaning, 3, 45–63, 110
processing, 7
pro-concept, 104, 110
pro-form, 110
pronouns, 227, 110
proposition, 34–7, 40
expressed, 35, 37
incomplete, 33, 34, 39
Propositionalism, 34, 35
psycholinguistics, 184
psychology, 254
puns, 253
Putnam, H., 17–18
Q-principle, 6, 74–5, 78, 162, 165, 175
Q vs. R, 170–4, 176, 178
Q-scales, 162
qualifi cation
implicit, 30
quantifi er restriction, 30
Quintilian, 161
Recanati, F., 4, 7, 8, 34, 38, 41, 43,
71, 87, 92, 106, 111, 112, 118,
152–5, 222, 226, 228, 231, 241,
243, 250, 252, 254, 256, 257
raw, 101
reciprocals, 83
reference, 41, 42
relevance, 45–65, 85, 115, 147, 191,
communicative principle of, 129
expectation of, 129
optimal, 8, 128–32
principle of, 117
cognitive principle of, 245
communitive principle of, 245
constraints on, 45–65
relevance theoretic comprehension
strategy, 47
representation, 4, 94
M-, 94–7
Representational Hypothesis, 92–111
Richards, I.A., 112
Rips, L.J., 204
Rooy, R. van, 72–3
R-principle, 6, 74–5, 78, 162, 164,
165, 168–9, 175
Rubio Fernandez, P., 256
Russell, B., 80–2
Sadock, J., 10, 87, 103, 107
Sauerland, U., 80–2
Saul, J., 179
Saussure, F. de, 92, 94, 96, 98
Sayce, A.H., 174
Schlenker, P., 223, 225, 227
scope, 167
scope embedding test, 71
scope neutrality, 99, 100
scope principle, 154
Searle, J. 24–5, 42, 106, 109, 118, 233,
seemingly, 50
semantic change, 239, 255
266 pragmatics
semantic content, 27, 30, 133
semantic defi nition, 107
semantic incompleteness, 29, 31, 32,
36, 40–2
semantic minimalism, 133–4
semantic underdetermination, 42
semantics, 90–112
lexical, 106
linguistic, 4, 91, 98, 106, 108
linguistic vs. real, 4, 90–2
speech act conception of, 134
for sentences, 34
semantics/pragmatics distinction, 1,
24–43, 111
semantics vs. meaning, 95, 98,
sentence-utterance distinction,
shared content, 4, 115–32
signs, 4, 94
Saussurian, 93–4
similarity, 4, 116–17, 124–6, 131, 145,
Sissala, 45, 47, 61
Smith, C.L., 200–1
Soames, S., 42, 80, 81, 85
sortal incorrectness, 97
sound change, 174
sound-meaning correspondence, 93,
speaker’s intention, 33, 214–15, 219,
speaker vs. hearer, 162
speech acts, 2, 7, 35, 45, 64, 213–28
indirect, 38
reported, 225
see also locutionary, illocutionary
speech act fallacy, 24
speech act monism, 133
speech report, 117, 119
Speranza, J. L.
Sperber, D., 255
Sperber, D. and D. Wilson, 1, 51,
58–61, 64, 65, 67, 70, 72–3,
91, 104, 106, 116, 130, 136–7,
138–9, 141–2, 144, 147, 149,
151–2, 155, 179, 190, 224, 231,
236, 239, 241–3, 250, 253, 254,
255, 256, 257
spreading activation model, 243
square of opposition, 163
Stalnaker, R., 27
Stanley, J., 43
Steels, L., 85
stereotypes, 171–2
Stern, G., 165
Sternberg, R.J., 201
Storto, G. and M. Tanenhaus, 39
Strawson, P.F., 24
strengthening, 3, 8, 50, 85, 155, 162,
see also narrowing
stress, 161
strictly speaking, 218–19
supposedly 59
Sweet, H., 174
synecdoche, 253
synonymy, 174–8
syntactic correlation constraint, 43
syntactic structure, 35
syntax, 36–7, 43, 74, 97, 138, 174
T’ai Chi, 159
tenses, 224–5, 227
Theory of Mind, 177
Thomason, R., 93
thoughts, 91, 97, 105, 111, 115–32
duplication of, 116–17
timing, 203–9
tired, 101, 132, 190
Tobler, A., 164
token-refl exive rule, 214
trade names, 165, 236
training, 202
Traugott, E.C., 179
and R. Dasher, 179, 239
Travis, C., 42, 118
type/token, 93, 94
unarticulated constituents, 36–7, 40,
undertermination, 25, 31, 34, 70
Urmson, J.O., 64
use and meaning, 24, 39, 41, 106,
107–8, 110, 111
utterance, 34, 35, 39
utterance semantics, 34
utterance-type meaning, 42
index 267
vagueness, 25
Van de Henst, J.B. and D. Sperber,
variables, 40
Vega Moreno, R., 251, 256, 257
Vincente, B., 106, 146, 150–1
what is said, 2, 14, 28, 31, 38, 43, 119,
124–6, 134, 149, 188
vs. what is implicated, 37–8
Williams, E.R., 176
Wilson, D., 144, 150, 239
see also Sperber, D.
and R. Carston, 8, 108, 231, 242–3,
255, 257
Wittgenstein, L., 2, 24, 111
word-formation, 170–1
word play, 238
Yang/Yin, 158
Young, D.G., 102
Zeevat, H., 78
Zipf, G.K., 68, 73, 78, 159, 161–2, 164,
173–4, 175
Zwarts, J., 85, 87


for the GC

Before Grice, ordinary-language philosophers tended to defend a use theory of meaning on which facts about word use are seen as giving direct insight into word
meaning, and the lexicon would consist of a huge range of descriptive facts about word use.

Grice (in ‘Logic & conversation’, Harvard, lecture 1, Prolegomena) was one of the first to argue that many facts about word use do not give us direct insight into word meaning, but follow from more general pragmatic principles.

On this approach, rather than trying to record every fact about word use in the lexicon, we would combine a relatively simple semantics with a general account of pragmatics or language use.

Notice that prototype semantics is a return to the old


position on which all facts about word use give direct insight into word meaning.

The Griceian argument
can be taken further, using a relatively simple semantics plus the pragmatic creation of ad hoc
concepts to account for prototypicality effects.

The argument goes beyond Grice’s because it treats lexical-pragmatic processes as contributing not only to implicatures but also to explicit
truth-conditional content, i.e. the proposition expressed.


by JLS
for the GC

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
by AJK Greenall - Cited by 5 - Related articles

"recognizable as a pre-Gricean version of the first maxim of Quality".

...... based on her meta-knowledge about Italian cultural facts, her present ...


for the GC


Genre, Relevance and Global Coherence - Linguist List - Reviews ... › Publications › Reviews - Cached- Block all results
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"Genre Theory may be considered a pre-Gricean interpretation of comprehension"

, ... skills within the new 5-year syllabus for Italian Medical Schools. ...

Friday, July 15, 2011

S. G. Brown misstates the date of Urmson's obituary of Grice: It should be "The Independent" Aug 31 1988, not 1990, as Brown writes

-- For the record.

And a nice obituary it is too.

By someone who KNOWS.

Roger Bacon and Grice -- the neoscholastic basis for Griceanism

by JLS
for the GC

As we discuss, as we did, Lacey,

"Rainbows imply rain"

here's Bacon from Hackett's entry in the Stanford. Enjoy!


Bacon's own classification of signs introduces distinctions that reflect an integration of both Augustine and Aristotle.

1. Natural Signs

1.1 signifying by concomitance, inference and consequence 1.1.1 Necessarily
1.1.2 Probability

1.2 signifying by configuration and likeness
1.3 cause and effect

2. Intentional Signs purposefully generated:

2.1 Signifying conventionally by means of a concept: 2.1.1 Linguistic signs by way of imperfect deliberation: interjections
2.1.1 Linguistic signs by way of perfect [completed] deliberation: other parts of speech
2.1.3 Non-linguistic signs (language of gestures, monk-signs, sign-boards)

2.2 Signifying naturally, in the mode of affect 2.2.1 Products of the sensitive soul: animal sounds
2.2.2 Products of the rational soul: groans, exclamations, cries of pain[15]

The distinction between 1 and 2 is taken from Augustine's De doctrina Christiana. Bacon himself claims that he worked out the typology himself prior to finding it in Augustine's great work on interpretation. Modern scholars, however, believe that he must in some way have borrowed it from Augustine.[16] The distinction between [2.1 and 2.2] is taken from the Aristotelian tradition as handed on by Boethius. Type 1 signs happen naturally as part of the agency of Nature. Type 2 are signs only because they have been willfully creates as such by deliberation and are include linguistic and non-linguistic signs. However, Type 2.2 are designated “natural” in a sense different from Type 1. These sounds and groans are products of nature and happen instinctively but in an “animate” action.

Interjections are a problem. They are parts of language, conventional signs, and so conceptual, yet they are emitted suddenly and often due to pain. They are similar in a way to groans of animals (Type 2.2). This discussion is common to writers on grammar and logic from the 1240s, especially in the works of Richard Kilwardby and other related works.

The signs in 1.1 on natural consequence indicate that Bacon has integrated not only Aristotle and Augustine but also the work of Averroes on the Rhetoric of Aristotle. Thomas S. Maloney has argued that Aristotle's De anima plays an important role in Bacon's distinction between signs by nature and signs by intention.[17] Bacon's provides an analysis of ambiguity and equivocation in De signis and Compendium studii theologiae (Maloney 1984).

P. L. and all the Gardiners

for the GC

--- with a nod to R. E. Dale

--- WE KNOW that Grice heard from Gardiner (Sir Alan, that is) because Mats Furberg was his Swedish tutee (Grice's) and Furberg loved Gardiners. Grice possibly loved Gardiner, too. P. L. -- I may need to revise the refs. by Grice to P. L. Gardiner, but below his obit.

Obituary: Patrick Gardiner
Anthony Storr
Monday, 7 July 1997

Patrick Gardiner, a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, for over 30 years, was a philosopher whose wide general culture and love of the arts informed everything he wrote.

He was especially interested in, and knowledgeable about painting. He himself painted, and was proud of the fact that his daughter Vanessa became a successful painter, but he also had a deep appreciation of literature and music. His writings are accessible to the general reader, and his choice of subjects, being unaffected by contemporary fashion in philosophy, reflected only his personal interests. He was the least competitive of men.

One of his interests was history, which he had read as an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford, before embarking on philosophy. His first book is entitled The Nature of Historical Explanation (1961). His reasoned rejection of extremist, monistic theories of history is a pleasure to read, and demonstrates his moderation, clarity, and his ability to write elegantly.

His book on Schopenhauer (1963) did a good deal to rehabilitate this neglected philosopher, and remains an indispensable critical guide to his thought. It may have been Schopenhauer's intense interest in the arts which led Gardiner to make him an object of study. He provides a masterly appreciation of Schopenhauer's contribution to philosophy while retaining a critical stance. Discipleship was never a feature of Gardiner's personality.

Kierkegaard (1988) is again devoted to a philosopher who, although considered one of the founders of existentialism, is somewhat outside the mainstream of Western philosophical thought. In addition, Gardiner edited two anthologies: Theories of History (1959), and Nineteenth Century Philosophy (1969).

He came from a family which was deeply concerned with the arts. He was educated at Westminster School, where he was a contemporary of the philosophers David Pears and Richard Wollheim, and also of Hugh Lloyd-Jones, who became Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford.

Gardiner served for three years in Italy and North Africa during the Second World War and, in 1949, became a lecturer in philosophy at Wadham College, Oxford. In 1952, he became a Fellow of St Antony's; and then transferred to Magdalen in 1958, where he was a notably sensitive teacher. He was made an Emeritus Fellow of Magdalen upon his retirement in 1989.

Those lucky enough to know Gardiner will sorely miss him. He was a wonderfully generous host and an accomplished raconteur, and displayed an ironic sense of humour. He was modest and self-deprecating, and extremely sensitive to the feelings of others. When I had occasion to consult him about a book I was writing in which Schopenhauer figured, he pointed out my errors in the most tactful way possible, so that I came away enriched with new insights rather than feeling stupid. He was one of those rare people whom one can genuinely call good.

When my wife and I moved to Oxford in 1974, Patrick and Susan Gardiner quickly became, and remained, two of our closest friends. Their beautiful house in Wytham, with its lovely garden, became one of the places in Oxford we most enjoyed visiting. Many others felt likewise. No couple could have had a wider circle of devoted friends.

Patrick Lancaster Gardiner, philosopher: born 17 March 1922; Tutor in Philosophy, Magdalen College, Oxford 1958-89, Fellow 1958-89 (Emeritus); FBA 1985; married 1955 Susan Booth (two daughters); died Oxford 24 June 1997.

Who's a Futilitarian

for the GC

Grice cherished the description of him by G. Bergman as an "English futilitarian". More below:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Grice's Signature: The Implicature

by JLS
for the Grice Club

I'm studying some vulgar Latin roots.

Implicatura, in Latin, gives Italian 'impiegatura'.

Similarly, Latin 'signatura' becomes Italian 'segnatura'.

Grice KNEW this.


A "signature" (in Italian, "segnatura", from Latin, "signatura", ultimately from signare, "to sign") is a handwritten (and sometimes stylized) depiction of someone's name, nickname, or even a simple "X" that a person writes on documents as a proof of identity and intent.

Grice's case:

Those spots mean measles.

In Latin:

Those spots "sign" measles. I.e. they are a 'sign' OF measles.



Italian: segnare, and 'segnalare', to signal.

"Those spots signal measles."


Grice's implicatura:

Suppose the owner of a fourth-rate albergo in Rome decides to draw five stars on its walls.

"Those five stars means this is a first-rate hotel"

But it isn't.

Five stars can "lie".

According to "Grice italiano", Umberto Eco, a sign is whatever you can lie with.


Hence 'signature tune'.


The writer of a signature is a signatory.

Similar to a handwritten signature, a signature work describes the work as readily identifying its creator -- or utterer, in Grice's parlance, 'segnatore'.

A signature may be confused with an autograph, which is chiefly an artistic signature.

(as in Da Vinci, "Mona Lisa").

The traditional function of a signature is evidential:

it is to give evidence of:

1.The provenance of the document (identity)

2.The intention (will) of an individual with regard to that document

For example, the role of a signature in many consumer contracts is not solely to provide evidence of the identity of the contracting party, but rather to additionally provide evidence of deliberation and informed consent. This is why the signature often appears at the bottom or end of a document.

In many countries, signatures may be witnessed and recorded in the presence of a Notary Public to carry additional legal force. On legal documents, an illiterate signatory can make a "mark" (often an "X" but occasionally a personalized symbol), so long as the document is countersigned by a literate witness. In some countries, illiterate people place a thumbprint on legal documents in lieu of a written signature.

There are many other terms which are synonymous with 'signature'. In the United States, one is John Hancock, named after the first of the signatories of the United States Declaration of Independence.

The signature of a famous person is sometimes known as an autograph, and is then typically written on its own or with a brief note to the recipient. Rather than providing authentication for a document, the autograph is given as a souvenir which acknowledges the recipient's access to the autographer.

In the United States, signatures encompass marks and actions of all sorts that are indicative of identity and intent. The legal rule is that unless a statute specifically prescribes a particular method of making a signature it may be made in any number of ways. These include by a mechanical or rubber stamp facsimile. A signature may be made by the purported signer. Alternatively someone else duly authorized by the signer acting in the signer's presence and at the signer's direction may make the signature.[2]

Many individuals have much more fanciful signatures than their normal cursive writing, including elaborate ascenders, descenders and exotic flourishes, much as one would find in calligraphic writing. As an example, the final "k" in John Hancock's famous signature on the US Declaration of Independence loops back to underline his name. This kind of flourish is also known as a paraph.[3][4]

Special signature machines, called autopens, are capable of automatically reproducing an individual's signature. These are typically used by people required to sign many documents, for example celebrities, heads of state or CEOs.

More recently, Members of Congress in the United States have begun having their signature made into a TrueType font file. This allows staff members in the Congressman's office to easily reproduce it on correspondence, legislation, and official documents.

East Asian name sealIn the East Asia languages of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, people typically use name-seals with the name written in tensho script (seal script) in lieu of a handwritten signature.

Several cultures whose languages use writing systems other than alphabets do not share the Western notion of signatures per se: the "signing" of one's name results in a written product no different from the result of "writing" one's name in the standard way. For these languages, to write or to sign involves the same written characters. Also see Calligraphy.

In e-mail and newsgroup usage, another type of signature exists which is independent of one's language.

Users can set one or more lines of custom text known as a signature block to be automatically appended to their messages. This text usually includes a name, contact information, and sometimes quotations and ASCII art. A shortened form of a signature block, only including one's name, often with some distinguishing prefix, can be used to simply indicate the end of a post or response. Some web sites also allow graphics to be used. Note, however, that this type of signature is not related to electronic signatures or digital signatures, which are more technical in nature and not directly readable by human eyes.

The signature on a painting or other work of art has always been an important item in the assessment of art. Fake signatures are sometimes added to enhance the value of a painting, or are added to a fake painting to support its authenticity. A notorious case was the signature of Johannes Vermeer on the fake "Supper at Emmaus" made by the art-forger Han van Meegeren.

The term "signature" is also used to mean the characteristics that give an object, or a piece of information, its identity—for example, the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle.

By analogy, the word "signature" may be used to refer to the characteristic expression of a process or thing. For example, the climate phenomenon known as ENSO or El Niño has characteristic modes in different ocean basins which are often referred to as the "signature" of ENSO.

Under British law, the appearance of signatures (not the names themselves) may be protected under copyright law.

Under United States Copyright Law, "titles, names [...]; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring" are not eligible for copyright; however, the appearance of signatures (not the names themselves) may be protected under copyright law. It has been deemed illegal to publish signatures[clarification needed] in Canada.[citation needed]

Look up signature in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Listen to this article (info/dl)

This audio file was created from a revision of Signature dated 2006-05-21, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. (Audio help)
More spoken articlesAutograph

Autograph club
Biometric signature as form of the Electronic signature
Cryptographic signature using Public key infrastructure
Diabolical signature, said to identify the demons in diabolical pacts
Images of signatures
manu propria (m.p.)
Mobile Signature
Signature (wealth manager)
Signature move


Oxford English Dictionary, accessed May 3, 2011.

2.^ 80 Corpis Juris Secondum, Signatures, sections 2 through 7

3.^ Paraphe, also spelled parafe, is a term meaning flourish, initial or signature in French (Paraphe entry, reverso translation software, based on the Collins French-English Dictionary, Harpercollins, Flexible edition, August 1990, ISBN 0062755080).

4.^ The paraph is used in graphology analyses.

5.^ Spilsbury, Sallie (2000). Media Law. Cavendish Publishing. p. p. 439. ISBN 185941530X. "An individual's signature may be protected under law as an artistic work. If so, the unauthorised reproduction of the signature will infringe copyright. The name itself will not be protected by copyright; it is the appearance of the signature which is protected."
6.^ "Copyright Basics", United States Copyright Office. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
7.^ Spilsbury, Sallie (2000). Media Law. Cavendish Publishing. p. 439. ISBN 185941530X. "An individual's signature may be protected under law as an artistic work. If so, the unauthorised reproduction of the signature will infringe copyright. The name itself will not be protected by copyright; it is the appearance of the signature which is protected."

Grice and Deely

by J. L. Speranza
for the Grice Club

John Deely is a philosopher and semiotician. He is a Professor of Philosophy at the Center for Thomistic Studies of the University of St. Thomas, in Houston, USA.

Deely's main research concerns the role of "semiosis" (the action of "signs") in mediating objects and things.

Secifically, Deely investigates the manner in which experience itself is a dynamic structure (or web) woven of triadic relations (a "sign" in the strict 'sense') whose elements or terms (representamens, significates and interpretants) interchange positions and roles over time in the spiral of semiosis.

Deely first became aware of semiotics as a distinct subject matter through reading Jacques Maritain and John Poinsot, which led to his original contact with Thomas Sebeok in 1968 with a proposal to prepare a critical edition of Poinsot’s Tractatus de Signis (1632) as the earliest full systematization of an inquiry into the being proper to signs.

This proposal turned out to require 15 years to complete.

Deely and Sebeok became close associates, notably in the 1975 founding of the Semiotic Society, in which project Sebeok had Deely function as secretary of the committee drafting the constitution.

In 1980 Sebeok asked Deely to take charge of the development of the proceedings volumes, to which end Deely developed the distinctive SSA Style Sheet which takes as its principle foundation the fact that

no one writes after they die,

as a consequence of which primary source dates should always come from the lifetime of the cited source —-

the principle of historical layering -- because it reveals the layers of discourse just as the layers of rocks reveal the history of the Earth to a trained geologist.

Thus, like Sebeok, Deely fully appreciated the inevitable historicity of semiosis.

In fact, Sebeok in his foreword to Deely’s 1982 Introducing Semiotics (p. x), identified Deely’s work on Poinsot’s Tractatus de Signis as

the ‘missing link’ between the ancients and the moderns in the history of semiotic, a pivot as well as a divide between two huge intellective landscapes the ecology of neither of which could be fully appreciated prior to this major publishing event.

This 1982 work of Deely’s was based upon his 1981 essay,

“The relation of logic to semiotics,”

which won the first Mouton D’or Award for Best Essay in the Field in the Calendar Year (Semiotica 35.3/4, 193-265).

In 1990, Deely published a work titled

"Basics of Semiotics,"

which Sebeok called

“the only successful modern English introduction to semiotics.”

Sebeok himself, beginning in 1963, had effectively argued that the then prevailing name for the study of signs -- semiology -- in fact concealed a fallacy of mistaking a part for a larger whole (the “pars pro toto” fallacy).

Like Locke, Peirce, Grice, and Jakobson, Sebeok considered that ‘semiotics’ was the proper name for a whole in which ‘semiology’ focuses only on the anthropocentric part, and that the action of signs extends well beyond the realm of culture to include the whole realm of living things, a view summarized today in the term biosemiotics.

(Grice's views are only recently known after his lectures on Peirce, now deposited in The Grice Papers, the Bancroft Library at the Univ. of Calif. at Berkeley. They were written in 1947, though.)

Deely, however, notably in "Basics of Semiotics", laid down the argument that the action of signs extends even further than life, and that semiosis as an influence of the future played a role in the shaping of the physical universe prior to the advent of life, a role for which Deely coined the term physiosemiosis.

Thus the argument whether the manner in which the action of signs permeates the universe includes the nonliving as well as the living stands, as it were, as determining the “final frontier” of semiotics.

Deely’s argument, which he first expressed at the 1989 Charles Sanders Peirce Sesquicentennial International Congress at Harvard University, if successful, would render nugatory Peirce’s “sop to Cerberus.”

Deely’s "Basics of Semiotics", of which so far six expanded editions have been published across nine languages, is to be noted for dealing with semiotics in its fullest extent, avoiding the pars pro toto fallacy Sebeok leveled against Saussurean and post-Saussurean semiology, and in contrast to other popular works claiming to cover ‘basics of semiotics’ while in fact covering only ‘basics of semiology’.

In his most recent work, Medieval Philosophy Redefined, Deely employs Peirce’s notion of semiotics as a cenoscopic science to show how the Latin Age, from St. Augustine to John Poinsot, marked the first florescence of semiotic consciousness—only to be eclipsed in philosophy by the modern “subjective turn” to ‘epistemology’ (and later the “linguistic turn” to ‘analytic philosophy’ -- where Grice flourished), which Sebeok called the “cryptosemiotic” period.

Indeed, 'cryptic' is the word Grice used to describe Peirce as he found him. Grice's attempt to render his thing "English" led him to choose 'mean' rather than 'signify' (Grice famously claimed that words are NOT signs in WoW) (WoW: Studies in the Way of Words).

The full return to semiotic consciousness, argues Deely, was launched by the work of Peirce, beginning most notably with his New List of Categories.

Categories of course play a major theme in Grice: Intentions, Categories, and Ends being the subtitle of

P. G. R. I. C. E. -- the Grice festschrift:

Grounds of

----- Some authors have ignored the centrality of this item, as when for example, they blunder the categorial impact of 'relatio' (vis a vis qualitas, quantitas, and modus -- in Grice's 1967 Kantian tetradic model). Grice had lectured on Aristotle's categories with Strawson.

And while Deely refers to the lack of 'sensibilities' (I agree with Deely there) on the part of Acrkill translating Aristotle, it should be noted that Ackrill's interest in Aristotle -- and indeed translating him -- sprang from his attending Grice's early lectures at Oxford.


In his other work of 2010, Semiotics Seen Synchronically, Deely traces semiotics (in contrast with semiology) as a contemporary phenomenon of intellectual culture was consolidated largely through the organizational, editorial, and literary work of Thomas Sebeok himself, exposing the widespread but false impression that semiotics reduces to the contrast between Peirce’s triadic and Saussure’s dyadic notion of sign.

--- In contrast, Grice was ever for 'longitudinal' unity of semiotics. Cfr. Mainetti.

Publications by Deely:

Theses on Semiology and Semiotics.
The American Journal of Semiotics 26

Introducing Semiotic: Its History and Doctrine (Indiana Univ., 1982).

Basics of Semiotics

1st ed., originally published simultaneously in English (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1990) and Portuguese (as Semiótica Basica, trans. Julio Pinto and Julio Jeha [São Paulo, Brazil: Atica Editora]). Bazele Semioticii, trans. Mariana Neţ (Bucarest: ALL s.r.l, 1993). Basics of Semiotics, Japanese edition (Hosei University Press, 1994). Subsequent expanded editions listed in following entries.
2nd ed., Los Fundamentos de la Semiotica, trans. José Luis Caivano and Mauricio Beuchot (Expanded 2nd ed.; Mexico City: Universidad Iberoamericana, 1996). Ukrainian edition, trans. Anatolij Karas (Lviv University, 2000).
3rd ed., further expanded,

"Basi della semiotica",
trans. Massimo Leone,
with and Introduction by Susan Petrilli and Augusto Ponzio (Bari, Italy: Laterza, 2004).

4th ed., expanded again, bilingual Estonian and English, trans. Kati Lindström (Tartu Semiotics Library 4; Tartu, Estonia: Tartu University Press, 2005).
5th ed., again expanded, English only (Tartu Semiotics Library 4.2; Tartu, Estonia: Tartu University Press, 2009).
6th ed., yet again expanded, Chinese only, trans. Zujian Zhang (Beijing: Renmin University Press, 2011 [forthcoming]).

Four Ages of Understanding (Univ Toronto: 2001)

What Distinguishes Human Understanding (St. Augustine's: 2002)

The Impact on Philosophy of Semiotics (St. Augustine's: 2003)

Intentionality and Semiotics (Scranton: 2007)

Descartes & Poinsot: The Crossroads of Signs and Ideas (Scranton: 2008)

Augustine & Poinsot: The Semiotic Development (Scranton: 2009)

Semiotic Animal (St. Augustine's: 2010)

Semiotics Seen Synchronically: the View from 2010 (LEGAS: 2010)

Medieval Philosophy Redefined: The Development of Cenoscopic Science, AD354 to 1644
(From the Birth of Augustine to the Death of Poinsot) (University of Scranton: 2010).

See also pp. 391-422 of

"Realism for the 21st Century: A John Deely Reader",
ed. Paul Cobley (Scranton Univ.: 2009) for a 285-item bibliography.

See under "External links" for online works and bibliographies.

1.^ See Paul Cobley’s remark, in Realism for the 21st Century: A John Deely Reader (ed. Cobley), p. 3:

“While Charles Sanders Peirce is acknowledged as the greatest American philosopher, John Deely, in his wake, is arguably the most important living American philosopher.”

Cf. in same volume the multifarious and world-spanning recommendations of Deely’s work from countries as diverse as Africa, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Ukraine, and the US.

"Representamen" (properly with the "a" long and stressed: pronounced /ˌrɛprɨzɛnˈteɪmən/ rep-rə-zen-tay-mən), is Charles Sanders Peirce's adopted (not coined) technical term for the sign as covered in his theory. Peirce used the technical term in earlier years in case a divergence should come to light between his theoretical version and the popular senses of the word "sign". Deely argues that the word "sign" is best used for the full triadic relation of representamen, significate object, and interpretant.

"Significate" and "significate object" are interchangeable in Deely's terminology, and correspond to that which Peirce called the semiotic object or the object.

See Deely's

"The Green Book: The Impact of Semiotics on Philosophy", December 2000. Eprint. The object is that for which the representamen stands, its subject matter.

"Interpretant" is Peirce's term for a sign's meaning or ramification as formed into a kind of effect which is a further sign, for example a translation.

3.^ Author of Jacques Maritain: Antimodem or Ultramodern? An Historical Analysis of His Critics, His Thought, and His Life, 1976, Elsevier. Director of the Women, Culture & Society program at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, according to the program's Webpage as accessed August 31, 2010.

4.^ Available as PDF file at University of St. Thomas, Houston website.

5.^ See also Thomas A. Sebeok, “A Signifying Man,” feature review of Tractatus de Signis in The New York Times Book Review for Easter Sunday 30 March.

6.^ See Frontiers in Semiotics, eds. John Deely, Brooke Williams, and Felicia E. Kruse (Indiana Univ., 1986).

7.^ Peirce, C. S., A Letter to Lady Welby, dated 1908, Semiotic and Significs, pp. 80–1 (viewable under Sign" at Commens Dictionary of Peirce's Terms):

I define a Sign as anything which is so determined by something else, called its Object, and so determines an effect upon a person, which effect I call its Interpretant, that the latter is thereby mediately determined by the former. My insertion of "upon a person" is a sop to Cerberus, because I despair of making my own broader conception understood.

8.^ Jeremy Bentham's term cenoscopy (or coenoscopy) was adapted by Peirce , starting in 1902 in his classification of the sciences, to refer to philosophy as the study of positive phenomena in general as available to any waking person at any moment, without resort to special experiences in order to settle questions, and encompassing: (1) phenomenology; (2) the normative sciences (esthetics, ethics, and the logic of signs, inference modes, and inquiry methods); and (3) metaphysics. Peirce distinguished cenoscopy as philosophia prima from science of review (which he also called synthetic philosophy), as philosophia ultima, which for its part draws on the results of mathematics, cenoscopy, and the special sciences (of nature and mind). See quotes under Philosophy and Cenoscopy at the Commens Dictionary of Peirce's Terms, Mats Bergman and Sami Paavola, editors, 2003 onward, Helsinki U., Finland.

See also

Charles Sanders Peirce
John Poinsot
Postmodern philosophy#New perspectives on what postmodernity "is to be"
Semiotic Society of America
Thomas Sebeok#Sebeok award

External links

Deely's visiting-professor page at the University of Tartu, Estonia.
Deely's Vita Summary (PDF) at U of Tartu Website.
Semiotics course taught by Deely at Tartu.
Deely's works online
Basics of Semiotics, first edition, 1990 (the 2005 edition is greatly expanded). Eprint.
The Red Book: The Beginning of Postmodern Times or: Charles Sanders Peirce and the Recovery of Signum, 79 pages, text prepared for the Metaphysical Club of the University of Helsinki, November 2, 2000. Helsinki U Commens EprintPDF (578 KiB).
The Green Book: The Impact of Semiotics on Philosophy, 65 pages, prepared for the First Annual Hommage à Oscar Parland at the University of Helsinki, December 1, 2000. Helsinki U Commens EprintPDF (571 KiB).
"Clearing the Mists of a Terminological Mythology Concerning Peirce", October 4, 2008. Eprint.
John Deely in libraries (WorldCat catalog)

Bibliographies online
Annotated bibliography by John Deely 1965-1998
Annotated bibliography by John Deely 1999-2010
Semiotic bibliography

"The happy couple jetted off to the sunny climbs of California"

by JLS
for the GC

From today's World Wide Words, ed. M. Quinion:

Sean Brady sent a clipping from a local freesheet, the Saffron
Walden Reporter, dated 30 June. A report on a wedding said that the
happy couple were "jetting off to the sunny climbs of California
for their honeymoon." Yosemite perhaps?

"The happy couple jetted off to the sunny climbs of California"

by JLS
for the GC

From today's World Wide Words, ed. M. Quinion:

Sean Brady sent a clipping from a local freesheet, the Saffron
Walden Reporter, dated 30 June. A report on a wedding said that the
happy couple were "jetting off to the sunny climbs of California
for their honeymoon." Yosemite perhaps?

"The Duchess of Cambridge wore a Jacquenta dress, by Erdem, who designed it on her arrival in Canada on Thursday"

by JLS
for the GC

From today's World Wide Words, ed. M. Quinion.

"Quick work!" commented Robin Dawes about a news item on the BBC
website on 4 July: "The Duchess wore an electric blue Jacquenta
dress, by Erdem, the Canadian-born British designer who designed
the dress on her arrival in Canada on Thursday."

"Some held babies and others held umbrellas to protect them from the burning summer sun"

by JLS
for the GC

From today's World Wide Words, by M. Quinion.

Child cruelty? Hal Keen noted that the Star Tribune of Minneapolis/
St Paul for 1 July described protesters at the state capitol: "Some
held babies and others held umbrellas to protect them from the
burning summer sun."

Quinion self-sics but provides no cancellation

by JLS
for the GC


From today's World Wide Words, by M. Quinion:

The biter bit: lots of readers wrote in about my etymology of the
word "cab", which I described as "a contraction of cabriolet, a
light two-wheeled vehicle drawn by one horse that had been around
since the middle of the seventeenth century in France, but which
had first appeared for hire in London in 1823." The consensus was
that it must have been a well-preserved and much-travelled horse.


Alas, M. Quinion does not provide a variant that lacks the unwanted 'implicature'. Cfr. Grice:

"I met one woman this morning"

which agrees with his having breakfast with his own wife.

Pei notes that while the old Romans were already using "unus, una, unum" indefinitely, it is still a bother to account for this 'generalised implicature', Grice calls it, in say, Italian, -- where "uno" besides _saying_ the Arabic "1", implies, the logical quantifier (Ex). Or something.

Put a sock in it

by JLS
for the GC

From today's World Wide Words, ed M. Quinion:

Q. I've heard a rumour, meaning I was unable to verify the source,
that the phrase "to put a sock in it" referred to early gramophones
that had no volume control. It is said that people who were annoyed
by the high decibels produced by these machines would suggest that
the person operating the player put a sock, rolled up into a ball,
inside the horn producing the sound. Seems like a good fit to me.
Any way this can be researched or verified? [Lou Jandera]

A. I can't give a copper-bottomed, guaranteed, incontrovertible
answer, but there's enough evidence to give a good pointer to the
real source.

The story about putting a sock in the horn of a gramophone has been
so widely reproduced in books that it's unsurprising people believe
it. It's a delightfully unexpected and convincing tale. The image
comes to mind instantly of some grumpy parent stuffing hosiery into
the horn to muffle the noise of the kids' records.

The difficulty, as so often with such stories, is the evidence. The
first examples appear in 1919, virtually simultaneously in the UK
and Australia:

The expression "Put a sock in it", meaning "Leave off
talking, singing or shouting".
[The Athenaeum (London), 8 Aug. 1919.]

"But if you want to see a racecourse - a real full-
sized dinkum top-hole racecourse I'm speaking of, mind
you - come along with me to Tasmania," chimed in the
small voice of a lad who was very fond of apples, "and I
will show you -" "Oh. dry up, Tassie; put a sock in
[Western Mail (Perth, Australia), 23 Oct. 1919. In
number 5 of a series of articles entitled War-Time
Sketches, by Louis F Cox.]

The need in the first of these to define the expression suggests it
was then new in the UK. Both are rather late for it to be connected
to gramophones, which had by then been around for some time. I'd
also question whether pre-electric machines produced enough noise
to make it necessary to quieten them.

Another example provides a further pointer:

"I'm not miserable, corporal," said little Martlow:
"We're not dead yet. On'y I'm not fightin' for any ----
Beljums, see. One o' them ---- wanted to charge me five
frong for a loaf o' bread." "Well, put a sock in it.
We've 'ad enough bloody talk now."
[The Middle Parts of Fortune, by Frederic Manning,
1929. The novel is set on the Western Front in France in
1916, during the First World War, which Manning - an
Australian - experienced during his service with the
King's Shropshire Light Infantry. The text as he wrote it
could not be published in his lifetime because of the
authentic bad language it contained. I've expunged the
obscenities so this e-mail will not be trapped by spam
filters; the online and RSS versions are

This and the previous citation strongly suggest that an origin
among servicemen in the First World War is most probable, and
explains how the expression got into Civvy Street simultaneously in
both Britain and Australia - it was carried to both by homecoming

There were several similar expressions around at the time. Eric
Partridge pointed to the slightly earlier "put a bung in it". The
similar "put a cork in it" existed, too. "It" in all three cases is
clearly the mouth.

As I said, it's impossible to be sure, but I'd put my money on its
having originally been First World War slang.

---- end of citation.

Griceian answer.

Or commentary.

Grice was obsessed with 'dictum' -- cfr. Italian 'indizio' -- a type of sign. Also with 'sign' (Italian 'segnum'). Most technically, Grice was obsessed with 'impiegato' (what is implied, implicatum), what is designed (italian, segnato) and so on.

Anything that was NOT 'designed' in some direct way Grice called an implicature.


"You're the cream in my coffee", an 'indizio', or indirect sign for "I love you".


It's best then to connect these different strands in the fabric of Griceian philosophy: it connects with this dual relation,

x y

where one stands for the other -- sometimes factively, sometimes not.

When it comes to a common idiom of the type,

"put a sock in it",

as in,

"Put a sock in it!"

or, to avoid the problems of the imperative mode,

"She put a sock in it".

The problems are various.

Grice refers to

"x was caught in the grip of a vice"

"x may your friend, or not"

His example actually is:

"HE was caught in the grip of a vice"

which may refer to a male human OR a male animal (a male cat, say -- cfr. "curiosity killed the cat").

Grice notes that unless the designatum of 'he' is known, we do not know WHAT IS BEING SAID (the dictum or phrastic). I agree.

The same may be said about the 'it' of

"Put a sock in it".


Or not.

Seeing that there is so much controversy as to what is meant (what is said) by the idiom, one wonders how one can freely use it to implicate this rudeness or other.

Or not.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011


by Speranza

from online source:

(transitive) use, to employ take (an amount of time)

as in

Il treno impiega due ore.

the train takes two hours.


"The train employs two hours".

As I employ five seconds to figure out Grice's implicature, "You are the cream in my coffee" (oddly, I saw that dead metaphor in a recent advertisement, meant to mean, "I love you").

--- spend hire, to take, to engage, to employ


(1) usare, utilizzare


(2) metterci

(3) spendere, passare

(4) assumere, dare lavoro, avere alle proprie dipendenze

Derived terms

impiegato -- i.e. the Italian development of Grice's favourite form, "implicatum".

impiego -- the Gricean form par excellence, "I imply" (i.e. "I employ", etymologically).


Conjugation of impiegare

infinitive impiegare

auxiliary verb avere gerund


present participle


past participle impiegato

person singular plural

first second third first second third
indicative io tu lui/lei noi voi essi/esse





Note above that a point can be made that it would be otiose to use "implicate" in the imperfect. "My uncle was implying that, but I kept missing it."

past historic




conditional io tu lui/lei noi voi essi/esse



subjunctive che io che tu che lui/che lei che noi che voi che essi/che esse




imperative - tu lui/lei noi voi essi/esse


[edit] Anagramsre


Piegatura di Grice

By Speranza

Further to Grice's 'neologism': 'implicatura': - Blog - Lipperatura di Loredana Lipperini » Blog ...
17 feb 2010 ... Parlo di posizioni lavorative normali eh, la normale impiegatura varia e assortita che forma larga parte della forza lavoro. ...


by Speranza

Thanks to Cargan for comment in "Grisotto alla milanese". Further on Grice's neologism:

Linguine clandestine | il cavoletto di bruxelles
22 mag 2008... e riceve il tanto agoniato pezzo di carta entro 48 ore, con deprofundis scusandis dell'impiegatura (il bacio accademico lo rifiuto'). ...